When we have found out the AFC representatives at Super Bowl LVIII it will be the turn of the NFC to showcase the team who will oppose them in Las Vegas when the San Francisco 49ers go up against the Detroit Lions at Levi’s Stadium.
San Francisco went into the playoffs as the number one seed and are a win away from converting that into a place at the Super Bowl but the Lions are enjoying a memorable season, one which they won’t want to end just yet.
San Francisco 49ers
The San Francisco 49ers have definitely been the most consistent team in the NFC this season. They had a little three week wobble in the middle of it but that aside they have looked very good in every department and they have justified the number of judges who thought they were the Super Bowl winners when the season started. They are one win away from heading to the big dance to prove to those people that they were correct.
You could argue that they are slightly fortunate to be in this match because they certainly weren’t any better than the Green Bay Packers last week and had a youthful Packers offense not left a few points on the field it would have been them competing in this game. We eventually saw why the 49ers are so strong this year but they will certainly need their defence to play much better in this match, especially the pass rush because Jordan Love was hardly touched at all last week.
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The Detroit Lions have been the big story of the season. I think they went into the campaign with most people expecting them to win the NFC North division but sometimes a team not used to silverware can struggle under that expectancy. They didn’t though, they delivered the goods and now they are enjoying a brilliant playoff run which has already seen them beat the Los Angeles Rams and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to put them one win from a first Super Bowl in their history.
The Lions will have to go on the road for the first time this postseason in this match and that will be a challenge but they head to San Francisco with a vibrant offense which has an elite receiver, two star running backs and a very solid offensive line and they have a secondary which can get the job done as well. If the occasion isn’t too big for the Lions then they are entitled to have a genuine shot at this match given the talent they have on both sides of the ball.
Those who followed me in at the start of the season will already be holding a betting slip wanting the San Francisco 49ers to win this match as they were backed each way for the Super Bowl and we are guaranteed a payout should they win this contest. I’m happy to let that ride because I do think the San Francisco 49ers will be just a little too smart on all sides of the ball but those who want to could easily take the Lions with a 7.5 start as that always looks too high at this stage of the season.
I would be concerned with Jared Goff outdoors in a big match though so the bet I like is for Brandon Aiyuk to clear 77.5 receiving yards over the course of the evening. Detroit have really struggled against elite wide receivers in this playoff run with Puka Nacua and Mike Evans both going for well over 100 yards against them and Aiyuk is no mug either. While Christian McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel and George Kittle get bigger profiles in this offense, Aiyuk has been a pillar of consistency this season. Samuel is fit to play but might not be involved quite as much as he might be without his injury which should help Aiyuk too. If Detroit look to contain McCaffrey and Kittle it could well be Aiyuk that takes them apart. This line doesn’t look high enough to me.
Back B.Aiyuk – Over 77.5 receiving yards for a 3/10 stake at 1.87 with Boylesports
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